Grace-Marie Turner

The White House and its allies have just begun a multi-million dollar public relations effort – funded in large part by taxpayers – to try to convince senior citizens that ObamaCare is good for them. But this attempted snow job obscures the harmful impact the new law will have on seniors.

The White House isn’t telling seniors about ObamaCare’s $575 billion in cuts to Medicare that will make it harder and harder for them to find a doctor. Or that all seniors with a Medicare Part D prescription plan will be facing higher premiums in the coming years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The White House instead is spending taxpayer dollars to tell seniors about the $250 rebate check coming to those fully exposed to the Part D “doughnut hole.” What they neglect to mention is that fewer than one in ten people on Medicare actually will be receiving the checks.

And the White House neglects to mention other ways seniors will be hurt by ObamaCare’s cuts. The president repeatedly pledged that, “If you like your plan, you will be able to keep it,” but experts in his own administration say otherwise. According to Medicare’s actuary, more than seven million seniors with Medicare Advantage plans will lose their current coverage because of cuts to these plans. And those who still have Medicare Advantage plans will have “less generous benefit packages” because of the cuts.

Not surprisingly, cuts in Medicare will impact seniors’ access to care. Medicare’s actuaries estimate that about 15 percent of doctors and hospitals will become unprofitable because of ObamaCare, “possibly jeopardizing access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.”

Glenn Beck

Meanwhile, the White House is trying to fool seniors into believing that these cuts will strengthen Medicare by extending its solvency. But many of the “savings” taken out of Medicare are spent elsewhere, leading the CBO to conclude that ObamaCare “would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits.”

Congressional leaders could have avoided the current fight over the 21 percent cut in payments to doctors caring for Medicare patients by including the payment fix in their health overhaul bill. Instead, ObamaCare did nothing to help doctors, and now the cuts threaten seniors’ access to care as more doctors refuse to accept Medicare patients.


Grace-Marie Turner

Grace-Marie Turner is president of the Galen Institute, a non-profit research organization in Alexandria, VA, that focuses on health reform.
 


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